Thread Number: 69370  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
American Top Load Washer - Update a Month On
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Post# 922357   2/19/2017 at 10:36 by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

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Hi all,
hope you are all well.

You may remember just before Christmas I opened a thread talking about getting a top load washer to get through the large amount of laundry that our air b and b properties generate, and as a result, I got a Whirlpool American Style washer delivered, and now a month on, I thought I'd write an update on how I'm finding it v's what I have always been used to, a European Style Front Loader!

So, in general, I find the top loading washer an absolute godsend to be honest! It cuts through laundry so much quicker than any standard European washer could, and it seems to hold so much laundry, I can get through four times as much (although drying it is a different issue!)

It cleans very well, even with the stains it has to shift - think fake tan over sheets, think make up all over beautiful big white bath sheets, etc! Currently its running and the towels had some sort of purple stains all over them. I'll see how they come out! It also performs pretty quietly, which does surprise me.

I am well aware it uses a SHED LOAD of water. But, I am not on a water meter, and have a gas fired combi boiler so the water is instant and plentiful so I have little issue with this.

I've used it wash clothes, not just towels and sheets too, but I do find things don't feel quite so "fresh" if that makes sense, so I put those through the normal machine now, unless I'm rinsing out swimming costumes or something.

I've used all the cycles, and get the feeling that if I was going to be washing my own clothes in it, I'd use perm press for those as with its dilution rinse, I think it rinses better. I used the hand wash cycle, and it is useless, in comparison to a hand wash cycle in a front loader. There are no two ways about it. But that is my personal preference.

I use the 18 minute super wash every time, and was in the habit of running downstairs after the first drain (before the first spin, or else the fabric softener is dispensed!) and resetting it back to a 6 minute wash, where it would fill up again, and I'd use this as an extra rinse, and let it carry on with it its work. But thats a pain in the backside, so now I just leave it to it. I'm sure its fine!

There have been a few times where it has banged REALLY loudly as starting to spin; it was out of balance with the heavy towels so a quick open of the lid, moving them about, and starting the spin again was all it needed!.

I do use an extraordinary amount of detergents (twice as much of everything) to keep things white and clean, but that was to be expected.

The final spin is OK - it def could be better, thats for sure. If I am in a rush to turn clothes around I'll put them in the Siemens Front Loader for a 15 minutes 1400 RPM spin then into the dryer. If not in that much of a rush, I'll just put them into the dryer and know its going to take an extra 30 mins or so (yes I know its lazy :-( ) I do also find using warm rinse makes things at least feel dryer at the end of the cycle!

I also tend to start it filling, wait for it to agitate and then I'll add the detergent, let it mix, then add the clothes in and let the agitator tale take these to the bottom of the machine. This is a bit time consuming I guess, I'd just be worried detergent doesn't dissolve if I sprinkled it on top.

So, in summary, I am really pleased with it, and if it spun a little faster it'd be perfect! Some pictures follow of it!

Shout with any questions, comments. Thanks all!

Post# 922359 , Reply# 1   2/19/2017 at 10:37 by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

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Starting the fill - hot water, approx 70*c

Post# 922360 , Reply# 2   2/19/2017 at 10:38 by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

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It full - detergent mixed and the sheets and towels added

Post# 922361 , Reply# 3   2/19/2017 at 10:39 by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

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Cycle in use - 18 min Super Wash. Fast agitation for 12 mins, then slow agitation, static drain, fast spin, fill for rinse, static drain, then fast spin

Post# 922362 , Reply# 4   2/19/2017 at 10:40 by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

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Temp and Load size selected

Post# 922363 , Reply# 5   2/19/2017 at 10:41 by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

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The vast array of detergents I'm using!

Post# 922364 , Reply# 6   2/19/2017 at 10:42 by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

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And finally, the current set up. Think I may get a 2nd dryer, but that'll be a different thread! :-)

Post# 922372 , Reply# 7   2/19/2017 at 11:14 by appnut (TX)        

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Put detergent in the bottom of the tub, then add laundry, then turn on washer and walk away.  Have you used delicate rather than hand wash?  Seeing that much foam in a load of whites, I'd add an extra rinse if you aren't already.   640 rpm spin vs. 1400 rpm spin is no comparison. 

Post# 922373 , Reply# 8   2/19/2017 at 11:15 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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cool setup....yeah, there are pros and cons to a TLer, as what you discovered, the spin isn't as great as the FLer....

most times with a TLer, set to the LOW setting, as you add detergent, let agitate for a few seconds to froth up the detergent, then reset to the LARGE setting, while it continues to fill, start adding clothes, this sort of gives a concentrated Pre-Soak to the items before agitation begins.....

some of these machines don't give a full fill WARM rinse, the fill is COLD, but the spin sprays are WARM, sort of an energy saving part of the cycle...

looks as if you have the space, to stack sets in any configuration to fit your needs....

keep us posted

Post# 922379 , Reply# 9   2/19/2017 at 11:28 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Put the detergent in first then load the clothes and start it running and there shouldn't be concern about it not dissolving on top of the clothes.

Post# 922384 , Reply# 10   2/19/2017 at 11:43 by chetlaham (United States)        
You are being treated well :)

A bit sudsy- less detergent will do, but its a learning curve so no guilt on you.

Do know the spin and agitation speed of this machine btw? I am wondering if its slower at 50Hz or they compensated for it. In any case spin will be much slower compared to the Siemens.

Post# 922387 , Reply# 11   2/19/2017 at 11:54 by appnut (TX)        

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Like I said, fast spin is 640 rpms.  Normal agitation is 180 strokes/minute and gentle is 120 strokes/minute.

Post# 922418 , Reply# 12   2/19/2017 at 15:48 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

One of the reasons you are seeing better results than we do is that you have 70C water, around here the maximum you are likely to see is 60C. That makes the speed of chemical reaction much faster than the usual temps we are likely to use.

While filling the machine on low, letting it agitate to dissolve the detergent and then loading the clothes and setting it on high works well, I will say that when I used to have toploaders I used to add the detergent and the clothes, then start the machine as others have said -- it was in the directions printed under the lid.

If I was worried that the detergent might somehow harm the clothes, for example, dark clothes that might be bleached by concentrated undissolved detergent while the machine filled, I would just put clothes I did not mind if they got bleached or a piece of white fabric reserved for such purposes, between the powder and the laundry. That tended to work just fine.

It's also better if you put the powder right under the fill flume, so it dissolves more quickly.

Good luck!

Post# 922421 , Reply# 13   2/19/2017 at 16:41 by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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Ditto what Bob said about trying the delicate cycle rather than hand wash. It's what I use most of the time, and with a really good detergent, such as Tide, cleaning power seems to be fine. Pretreatment may be needed, however; you just have to experiment.

No way have I ever even considered using an 18 minute wash at the regular speed! Lol! You're brave. I don't think many textiles would hold up to that kind of beating for long. Mine has a soak cycle for things that need a longer wash, and it's much easier on fabrics.

Post# 922422 , Reply# 14   2/19/2017 at 16:51 by iej (Ireland)        

Be careful with fabrics - those machines at full intensity are pretty rough. Even though it may not look as dramatic as a front loader action, they're much more aggressive as there's that backwards - forwards twisting motion which rubs fabric against fabric.

The front loader is more about pushing water through the fabrics as the drum rotates.

Post# 922430 , Reply# 15   2/19/2017 at 17:37 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Keeping things "white and clean"

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Americans are wedded to using chlorine bleach, thus these top loading washers past and present are designed with that in mind.

To avoid exposing loads to prolonged aggressive wash action consider stopping machine after five or ten minutes, then allow load to soak for ten to fifteen, then start things up again.

Older Whirlpool washing machines offered a "Super Wash" cycle that did just this:

Fill, agitate for a period, stop/soak, drain out portion of water and continue with soaking, then add fresh water to proper level and commence with rest of cycle.

Idea was that during first part of soaking muck and soils would settle down to bottom of tub, these would be drained off when water was pumped out. Continued soaking in the now concentrated detergent/water mixture left on clothing acted as a "stain treatment".

One old school rule still holds true, especially when using top loading washers; two short wash cycles will give better results than one long.

Also starting washing in hot water will set certain stains including protein based soils. Since human sweat/bodily fluids are of that nature it is best to either pre-wash or soak in cold or tepid water, then wash in hot. That and or simply wash with a modern detergent in cold or warm water.

Front loaders with heaters aren't bothered by this old rule because they can start with cold water and gradually heat to warm, hot or boiling. Exposing wash to hot water from the start is same as poaching an egg; you will cook the protein soils into fabric.

Keep your eyes peeled for a stand alone spin dryer. Loading sheets into the thing could be a pain, and one finds it not really necessary as drying time isn't that much reduced. OTOH for thick and thirsty things like towels, wash cloths, bath mats, etc... it can make a huge difference. It also saves wear and tear on the frong loader as you aren't using it for spinning.

Post# 922436 , Reply# 16   2/19/2017 at 18:18 by appnut (TX)        
18 minutes subjected to shredmore

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I think it shifts to gentle agitation at 6 minutes on Cotton cycle. 

Post# 922440 , Reply# 17   2/19/2017 at 18:36 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Adding Another Dryer

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Do you have natural gas in your building ? if so an American Gas dryer will really speed up your laundry system and cost VERY LITTLE to operate.

Post# 922443 , Reply# 18   2/19/2017 at 18:54 by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
Funny thing John:

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I was just going to post that.  Yes that would help a lot.  I know the SQ dryers are available in UK pretty sure the WP are too.  I'll check on that.


Post# 922444 , Reply# 19   2/19/2017 at 19:02 by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
Dosen't look like WP is ofering anything:

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Here is a link to a Speed Queen vented gas dryer. 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO whirlykenmore78's LINK

Post# 922449 , Reply# 20   2/19/2017 at 19:43 by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Fairy! I inherited a bottle of Fairy dishwashing liquid. I've kept the bottle and just refill. It makes for a great conversation piece:-) Below is the pic I just took.

"I've used all the cycles, and get the feeling that if I was going to be washing my own clothes in it, I'd use perm press for those as with its dilution rinse, I think it rinses better."

I noticed the same with my 96 Maytag (Thanks, GadgetGary!) although I was so enthralled with actually having clean clothes it took me awhile to notice. What I wound up doing was a regular cycle in the Maytag then putting the load into the GE "waterless" washer (which actually had a rather long spray rinse and a spin speed that was a good bit faster than the Maytag's) for a rinse & spin before putting the clothes into the dryer. As Launderess said, there wasn't much of a difference with lighter items but there was a noticeable reduction of drying time with jeans and towels. Might something similar be an option for you as you have the Siemens washer right there?

When I had a lot of laundry this improved throughput time as I could have three machines going at once.

Just a thought,


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Post# 922666 , Reply# 21   2/20/2017 at 16:52 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
That looks like

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the WP top load washer I bought brand new in 2002! Then in 2005 sold it to family member when I bought my Duet. I know they had to recently have it repaired I believe. I think it was a minor repair. But I'm not sure if they still have it. I wasn't aware WP still made these. I think the agitator was called xtra roll or something like that. They really roll a load over big time, but they are rough on clothing.

Post# 923077 , Reply# 22   2/22/2017 at 10:49 by chrisbsuk (Bristol, uk)        

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Hi all,
thanks for your replies! I’ve got three change overs over the next 3 days, plus guests staying at my own place, so that’ll generate 9 sets of king size bed linen and associated bath sheets, hand towels, flannels and tea towels to wash, and one super king set and two doubles - which means I can also test out a few of your tips too!

@appnut - I’ll try this out, thank you! I've tried the delicate wash, but I thought it still looked quite violent compared to a front loader handwash cycle. But it sounds as if it could be OK - I’ll try it when I have the time!

@yogitunes - the warm rinse is actually warm - same temp as the warm wash water AND the spray rinses are warm. Incidentally I have been using the cold cycle when I do normal clothes in the machine as this water is actually tepid as it is mixed to help detergent dissolve - so around 30*c; I felt the warm cycle was too hot for some of my jeans etc.

@cheltham - I did think there were a load of suds, but it did all rinse out! no harm done! :-)

@earthling177 - thank you. I am going to do a low fill level, add detergent then let it agitate, then stop, add clothes, reset, and leave it alone!

@supersuds - 18 minute was is heavy cotton towels, and the like; no issues so far, but I’ll reduce it down to the 9 min cycle later on and see what happens. Guess I am coming from the school of 3.5hr washes for these types of fabrics so I have “longer is better” in my head

@Laundress - thanks for the reply! I could soak the items, but then that defies the purpose of getting this machine with its short cycles. I haven't had many issues yet though, in fact, none at all with items not being cleaned, so I think thats a good sign. Agree ref looking for a spinner - I am mindful every time I use the Siemens machine on 1400 RPM…

@combo52 - yes, I do have gas, in fact the water boiler next to the washer is gas. However, its quite hard to explain, but the duct would effectively have to go through the house, and up to surface level to exhaust - so I don't think this would be possible.

Post# 923273 , Reply# 23   2/23/2017 at 02:42 by qualin (Canada)        

Chris, holy cripes! You put towels in there for 18 minutes?!?!

OK, you have to keep in mind that top loader agitation is quite violent, as you have already seen. You don't need a long wash time to get the job done.

Here's what I've found when it comes to top load agitation times:

6 minutes - Delicate or lightly soiled fabrics
9 minutes - Most normal loads, including synthetics, permanent press
12 minutes - Jeans, Heavy cottons or noticeably soiled clothes
15 minutes - Canvas or clothes which you are considering burning

Even my old GE washer (Thread in the link below) never went past 15 minutes.

I'm kind of surprised that your towels survived an 18 minute wash and didn't end up all torn up or full of holes. For towels, a 9 minute wash is suitable, unless they're badly soiled, then a longer wash would help.


Post# 923357 , Reply# 24   2/23/2017 at 12:19 by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        

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Glad your new laundry setup is working out for you Chris, is the Siemens set the one from home you had fitted in new kitchen ?

How are you finding the professional Ariel ? and how much do you use ? it does give a creamy foam and usually rinses away quickly, when I did towels in the TL i did 6 mins wash, 6 mins soak, 6 mins wash then rinse, that worked fine for me but obviously you have to be around the machine or use a digi timer...

Cheers, Mike

Post# 923501 , Reply# 25   2/23/2017 at 23:49 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
One or two small notes

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1) A quick soak of only 10 minutes when using enzymes then straight into wash works wonders, please try it.

2) 125ml of 5% vinegar or 30ml of 15% in the final rinse will work wonders in getting that "fresh feeling' back.

3) Try cutting the detergent back to half and the 10 minute soak. Go up from there if needed, but I bet you won't need it.

4) Oxygen bleach in wash cycle? Might make a big difference.

Post# 924646 , Reply# 26   3/3/2017 at 12:03 by marky_mark (Sitges, Barcelona)        

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Hey Chris


Great to see you're pleased with your new machine!


One thing I would add is that, if necessary, you could occasionally add some chlorine bleach.  Don't be afraid of doing this!  I used to feel that the idea of pouring bleach into a washing machine seemed as unusual, damaging and unwise as pouring it directly into my eyes.  However sensible use is actually ok and beneficial when used appropriately.  Most bleach in the UK is blended with detergent and thickened (e.g. Domestos) but this is not what you want.  Here in Spain (as in the USA) it's not uncommon to add bleach to the washing machine and you can easily buy pain old bleach that doesn't have any other additives and can actually be used to purify drinking water.   This is by far the most common type of bleach available in the USA and is also the most common here in Spain.  I believe this may be sold in the UK as "thin bleach". 


I've attached a link to the Clorox website which tells you how to perform a bleachability test, which I have followed when using an American TL for washing white shirts that also have small coloured parts.  The dosage instructions are in US cups, which are 240 ml.  The recommended dose is half to one cup of bleach added 5 minutes after the cycle has started.  This does sound like an alarmingly large quantity of bleach but it's very diluted and the wash cycle will end just a few minutes after the bleach is added.  Just out of interest, when I was in the supermarket today I took a glance at the bottles of "lejía lavadoras" (in English: washing machine bleach) and I snapped a photo!  Just €2 for 5 litres! 


How are you getting on with the machine?  Still loving it?


All the best



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